4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Rajasthan, India: land of the kings

India's calmer, yet vibrant northwest.

One must-do in Rajasthan: camel ride in the Thar Desert.
One must-do in Rajasthan: camel ride in the Thar Desert.
The Blue City, Jodhpur.

The largest state in India, Rajasthan, located in the northwest of the country, is known as “the land of the kings." Rajasthan is wrapped in vibrant colors, with impressive cities including the Pink City of Jaipur and the Blue City of Jodhpur (also called the "Sun City" due to its year-round sun).

Along with the variety in color, you’ll find the food spicy and mostly vegetarian; cows are sacred here and there is no beef on the menus. This region of India has a calmer environment than other areas.

The bleak surrounding Great Thar desert clashes dramatically with the Blue City; most buildings here are painted blue, and locals told me that the color keeps their homes cooler and repels mosquitoes. As we traveled through the desolate landscape of the desert, we knew we had reached Jodhpur when suddenly everything in front of us became blue.

I met a lovely Indian family through couchsurfing and it made my stay in Jodhpur truly memorable – rather than wandering around the city half-lost with a map and spending evenings secluded in my hotel room.

The impressive Mehrangarh Fort, another must-see.

Must-visit places in Jodhpur include the Umaid Bhawan Palace, with its imposing art deco style and amazing hotel, and the Mehrangarh Fort in the center of Jodhpur, which sits atop a 400-foot hill with ornate carved exteriors and a great audio guide to learn all about the structure. The all-white Jaswant Thada is constructed of massive sheets of translucent white marble and is a beautiful site in the bright sun. And don’t miss the local market, Sardar Market Girdikot, to absorb yourself in local Indian life and experience the fascinating cuisine.

Fresco in Mehrangarh Fort.

There's no shortage of accommodations in Jodhpur – from the extravagant Umaid Bhwan Palace, said to be one of the best hotels in the world, to the less-expensive Vivanta by Taj, to the modern, contemporary Hotel Raas with its view of the Mehrangarh Palace. Plus there's a wide range of hostels ranging from the Basant Inn near the Fort at $30/night to the peaceful blue-colored Cosy Guest House at $5/night.

The tour company Unseen India provides airport or rail pickup and private tours and arranges accommodations at very reasonable prices.

Thar Desert camping.

The culture and people of the Great Thar Desert are an attraction when visiting the Jodhpur area; you’ll witness folk dances, colorful costumes and the popular camel rides. If you really want to splurge, take a day trip in a vintage car previously owned by one of the local royal families or a Bishnoi Village Safari into the desert, where you’ll sleep under the desert sky in luxurious safari-style tents.

Another alternate is a rustic homestay in the desert village of Salawas, where you'll experience jeep safaris, camel treks, hiking and desert village life with one of the Bishnoi families. The Bishnois are considered some of the world’s first tree-huggers who have protected their environment for hundreds of years. One evening we participated in an opium ceremony with the village men; I was given an opium pipe, but I'm not sure there was an opium in it as I didn’t feel any effect after smoking. So it was somewhat of a disappointment.

The best time to visit the state of Rajasthan is September through March, when there are less tourists and prices are substantially lower. Check to see if there are any festivals when you plan to visit – they go on throughout the year. The Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) begins around the middle of October with over 200 musicians and artists from around the world.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Tecate mayor calls out her cops to face down the Baja state police

Olga Zulema Adams says debt paid off the day before
Next Article

How Otay changed, secret TJ gardens, Mission Valley's future

San Diego State's Paseo project, building a Rancho Santa Fe mansion, downtown high rises never stop
One must-do in Rajasthan: camel ride in the Thar Desert.
One must-do in Rajasthan: camel ride in the Thar Desert.
The Blue City, Jodhpur.

The largest state in India, Rajasthan, located in the northwest of the country, is known as “the land of the kings." Rajasthan is wrapped in vibrant colors, with impressive cities including the Pink City of Jaipur and the Blue City of Jodhpur (also called the "Sun City" due to its year-round sun).

Along with the variety in color, you’ll find the food spicy and mostly vegetarian; cows are sacred here and there is no beef on the menus. This region of India has a calmer environment than other areas.

The bleak surrounding Great Thar desert clashes dramatically with the Blue City; most buildings here are painted blue, and locals told me that the color keeps their homes cooler and repels mosquitoes. As we traveled through the desolate landscape of the desert, we knew we had reached Jodhpur when suddenly everything in front of us became blue.

I met a lovely Indian family through couchsurfing and it made my stay in Jodhpur truly memorable – rather than wandering around the city half-lost with a map and spending evenings secluded in my hotel room.

The impressive Mehrangarh Fort, another must-see.

Must-visit places in Jodhpur include the Umaid Bhawan Palace, with its imposing art deco style and amazing hotel, and the Mehrangarh Fort in the center of Jodhpur, which sits atop a 400-foot hill with ornate carved exteriors and a great audio guide to learn all about the structure. The all-white Jaswant Thada is constructed of massive sheets of translucent white marble and is a beautiful site in the bright sun. And don’t miss the local market, Sardar Market Girdikot, to absorb yourself in local Indian life and experience the fascinating cuisine.

Fresco in Mehrangarh Fort.

There's no shortage of accommodations in Jodhpur – from the extravagant Umaid Bhwan Palace, said to be one of the best hotels in the world, to the less-expensive Vivanta by Taj, to the modern, contemporary Hotel Raas with its view of the Mehrangarh Palace. Plus there's a wide range of hostels ranging from the Basant Inn near the Fort at $30/night to the peaceful blue-colored Cosy Guest House at $5/night.

The tour company Unseen India provides airport or rail pickup and private tours and arranges accommodations at very reasonable prices.

Thar Desert camping.

The culture and people of the Great Thar Desert are an attraction when visiting the Jodhpur area; you’ll witness folk dances, colorful costumes and the popular camel rides. If you really want to splurge, take a day trip in a vintage car previously owned by one of the local royal families or a Bishnoi Village Safari into the desert, where you’ll sleep under the desert sky in luxurious safari-style tents.

Another alternate is a rustic homestay in the desert village of Salawas, where you'll experience jeep safaris, camel treks, hiking and desert village life with one of the Bishnoi families. The Bishnois are considered some of the world’s first tree-huggers who have protected their environment for hundreds of years. One evening we participated in an opium ceremony with the village men; I was given an opium pipe, but I'm not sure there was an opium in it as I didn’t feel any effect after smoking. So it was somewhat of a disappointment.

The best time to visit the state of Rajasthan is September through March, when there are less tourists and prices are substantially lower. Check to see if there are any festivals when you plan to visit – they go on throughout the year. The Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) begins around the middle of October with over 200 musicians and artists from around the world.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Beating back fear of Tijuana, why I keep thinking about Mexico, a cross-border kidnapping

The normalcy of smuggling across the line, party people re-take TJ, deported but not angry
Next Article

Greensky Bluegrass 20th Anniversary, Sam Smith Livestream from Abbey Road, Full Moon Halloween Hike

Events October 29-October 31, 2020
Comments
1
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
June 6, 2019

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close